When an individual dies, an inevitable part of the process that follows is that of the estate probate and administration of the individual. This process takes effect once the death is announced and the estate is released to legal parties for distribution. There are many moving pieces when it comes to understanding and adequately responding to estate probate and administration, and not all of these pieces are so easily understood on the surface.
In fact, there are many moving pieces that require more complex and intricate processes to unwind the practices in legal terms. Estate probate and administration often (if not nearly always) comes hand in hand with a last will and testament upon the death of an individual, but that does not necessarily mean that the process utilised to handle such instances is followed specifically and to a T every time.
Understanding estate law
More than ever, estate law is a prominent defining factor in the processes and systems that play out when an individual dies and their estate is set to be divided up as per their wishes. Of course, there are some sticks in the mud that surround the divvying up of a deceased individual’s estate, one of the most forceful of these sticks in the mud being estate probate and administration. Estate probate and administration is a term that some people have heard, but less people are familiar enough with to understand to its depths. Of course, this is understandable for those who do not work in the legal industry. So, it pays to do your homework correctly and swiftly.
What is the probate process?
The probate process is a public notice of death, which essentially means that when an individual dies, creditors are able to file claims against the estate left behind. After all creditors have been paid, the remainder of the estate (if anything is left, that is) goes to the beneficiaries outlined in the last will and testament of the deceased individual. There are of course some assets that are automatically out of reach of the probate process (think of joint ownership between the deceased and their living partner…though when the surviving partner dies, the property is automatically entered into probate unless ownership is moved on by the time of death).
Having the right team on your side
Having the right estate lawyer in your corner can and often does go a long way in ensuring that you get what you are rightfully owed. As is the case in practically every field of law, if you do not understand the intricacies of estate law and the probate and administration process, you can easily be taken advantage of should any parties with a hand in the process want to take advantage of your lack of in-depth understanding of what is often quite a complicated legal process. So, have the perfect team on your side so that you do not get taken for a ride, and the process can be handled as quickly and easily as possible.